Israel has
subjected the Gaza Strip to a policy of closure since 1991. Its current, most
extreme, form has been applied continuously since 14 June 2007, following the
Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. Despite the devastating effects of ‘Operation
Cast Lead’, Israel continues to apply the policy of closure. Today, the Gaza
Strip has been cut off from the outside world for more than five continuous years. Palestinians
are only granted permission to leave the territory in extremely limited
circumstances, exports are almost nil, and imports have been reduced to a very
limited number of items in dramatically insufficient quantities. The illegal
closure of the Gaza Strip is enacted as a form of collective punishment by the
Israeli authorities. The current closure regime violates numerous principles of
international humanitarian law and international human rights law including, inter
, Article 43 of the
Hague Regulations, and Articles 33, 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the
right to life, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to the
highest attainable standard of health, the right to freedom of movement and the
right to self-determination, which is indispensible for the development of a
society in which people can live with human dignity.

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